Medal to live by: water course for seniors

Participants in Hume's Grey Medallion course  
Medal winners: Graduates of the Grey Medallion course in 2015.

A six-week course on how to stay safe around water could be the most important challenge a Hume resident completes in their life, Hume Mayor, Councillor Helen Patsikatheodorou, said today.

Cr Patsikatheodorou said Council would again offer the Grey Medallion course to a select number of residents aged over 55.

“A total of 60 residents passed the course last year, and each participant learnt ways that could help them to prevent a tragic drowning,” Cr Patsikatheodorou said.

“It is completely free to take part in the course, which helps senior citizens to practice the correct way in which to resuscitate a person.

“The course also teaches how people can survive when they are in danger, and enables participants to hone their swimming skills.

“We want senior citizens to enjoy healthy and independent lives, and Council is proud to fund a course that enables residents to live life to the full around water.”

A course will take place at the Craigieburn Leisure Centre, and the same sessions will also occur at the Broadmeadows Aquatic and Leisure Centre.

Staff members from Hume City Council will deliver the sessions, with the Grey Medallion course coordinated by Life Saving Victoria.

Cr Patsikatheodorou said it was important for everyone to know how to be safe around water.

“The mainland of Australia is an island, and we’re regularly surrounded by water on our holidays, and sometimes when we’re exploring a suburban backyard,” she said.

“People need to know how to survive in a waterway, because it can take just a few seconds for a terrible tragedy to occur.

“In 2014-15, 39 people drowned in Victoria, and the number of individuals aged 65 and over who drowned increased by 17 per cent on the previous year.

“People are never too old to learn some vital ways to stay safe in and near water, whether that be a pool, ocean, creek or river.”

The Grey Medallion courses will commence in early May, and each session shall last three hours.

Cr Patsikatheodorou said Hume’s leisure centres were ideal places to learn how to swim and survive.

“Our aquatic centres are very friendly environments and Council’s staff members are highly qualified,” she said.

“Swimming is a proven way to keep fit, and the Grey Medallion classes enable people to share some time with others who have similar interests.

“Now is a great time to swim at a Hume leisure centre, with the excitement of the Rio Olympics only a few months away!”

Everyone who completes the Grey Medallion course is invited to a presentation ceremony, through which Hume City Council presents certificates.

People over 55 years of age who would like to register their interest in the Grey Medallion course should contact a member of Hume’s customer service team at the following locations by 1 May 2016:

• Craigieburn Leisure Centre, 127 Craigieburn Road, Craigieburn. Phone 03 9205 2650.
• Broadmeadows Aquatic and Leisure Centre, 41-85 Tanderrum Way, Broadmeadows. Phone 03 9205 2670.

For further information about Hume’s leisure centres, visit here.

Posted on 12:00 AM, 22 April 2016

Updated : 10:47 AM, 22 April 2016

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